Spodoptera frugiperda continues to spread in Africa
In early 2016, outbreaks of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae – EPPO A1 List) were reported for the first time in Africa where high armyworm populations damaging maize (Zea mays) crops have been noticed (EPPO RS 2016/188, 2017/035, 2017/116). According to a recent study published by CABI and UK Aid, the presence of the pest has now been confirmed from Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Republic of Congo, South Sudan. The presence of the pest is also suspected in other African countries (Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone) but this remains to be confirmed. In this study, impacts of the introduction of this major pest in Africa on maize crops have been estimated. In July 2017, a socio-economic survey has been conducted in Ghana and Zambia. The estimated national mean loss of maize in Ghana was 45% (ranging from 22 to 67%) and in Zambia 40% (ranging from 25 to 50%). Based on data collected from Ghana and Zambia, the potential impacts on maize yield and revenue in 10 other major maize-producing countries of Africa have been estimated. As a result, the estimated mean yield loss was 16 105 000 tonnes and the estimated economic loss ranged from 2 482 to 6 187 million USD. In addition to this analysis of economic impacts, recommendations are provided to NPPOs and farmers on the management of S. frugiperda.
Abrahams P, Bateman M, Beale T, Clottey V, Cock M, Colmenarez Y, Corniani N, Day R, Early R, Godwin Julien, Gomez J, Gonzalez Moreno P, Murphy ST, Oppong-Mensah B, Phiri N, Pratt C, Richards G, Silvestri S, Witt A (2017) Fall Armyworm: impacts and implications for Africa. Evidence Note (2), September 2017. CABI – UK Aid, 144 pp.